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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fedex Experiments with Autonomous Pods

I think we can assume we will soon see multiple autonomous delivery pods crawling (and perhaps later flying) all around the landscape.    Waiting for unintended consequences.   Not too different from automated mail delivery bots we had in the office as early as the 70s,  but these will be in the open, sometimes competing with traffic.

FedEx unveils autonomous delivery robot  Trials of the robot, which has a top speed of 10 mph, will begin later this year    By James Vincent in The Verge

Startups do it. Amazon does it. And now even Fedex is doing it — experimenting with robots for short-range deliveries. Today, the company officially announced its new FedEx SameDay Bot, which it says could help make “last mile” deliveries more efficient.

The SameDay Bot is battery-powered, has a top speed of 10 mph, and is autonomous, meaning it can steer itself around pedestrians and traffic using a combination of LIDAR sensors like those found in self-driving cars and regular cameras.

FedEx says it will initially use the bot to courier packages between the company’s offices in its headquarters in Memphis (pending approval from local government). But if these trials are successful it wants to expand the service to other companies and retailers, eventually making robots a standard part of its same-day delivery service.  ... "

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